Pneumatic Tattoo Machine Guide

Neuma is a short version of the word pneumatic, and the creation of the Pneumatic Tattoo Machine was quite revolutionary.

A pneumatic tattoo machine uses an air compressor to power the needle instead of the other common types of tattoo machines, such as coil and rotary.

The difference between the types of machines revolves around how the needle injecting the ink is powered in its movements up and down.


It is the third most popular after coil and rotary tattoo machines.


The machine was introduced into the market as a revolutionary way for artists and clients to experience the tattooing process.

Despite the approach, the limitations were more significant than the benefits. I’m not quite sure if there is still any tattoo artist using this configuration, but good to check this review and guide.


How does the Neuma Tattoo Machine compare to some other ones?

Users initially applauded the Neuma Tattoo machine as it was very light to carry and move.


It could easily be placed in an autoclave to sterilize it.


The other types of machines (coil and rotary) must be taken apart to put in the autoclave, which is very inconvenient and time-consuming.


In general, this is not done, making the Neuma more convenient and hygienic.


The Neuma was taking almost any kind of tubes and needles which have been pre-made, which was a great benefit.

However, some reviews of the product showed that it was noisier than the alternate configurations and that it turned out to be more expensive in terms of electricity use (because you have to use a compressor).


Neuma Hybrid

Neuma released an upgrade to the original machine, the Neuma Hybrid, which is more aesthetically pleasing than its predecessor and, with all its new features, is said to be less painful and produce less scarring.



It is also said to be much quieter than the original, which was annoyingly loud.

For those artists who are moving around a bit more and don’t want to be tied to a compressor, this model also allows users to convert the machine to electric.


Liner and shading with the Neuma Tattoo Machine

When creating tattoos, different techniques are used to make the main image’s strong lines or outlines. Then shading is used to create the depth and detail of the picture.

Although one machine can theoretically be used for both techniques, this is not recommended and not practiced by most tattoo artists. Typically two machines are used, one for each technique.


What about the needles?

Different needles are also used for lining and shading. There are round needles and flat needles. Flat needles are often used for lining as their design allows more ink to penetrate the skin, making bolder strokes.

Round needles may be used for both lining and shading, depending on how tightly they may be packed together.

The Neuma Tattoo Machine can be used to do lines and shading, and shader liner attachments can be purchased in different colors.


Final Thoughts About the Neuma Machine

The Neuma machine seems to have fallen out of favor as it is not available to purchase at the moment, and it is unclear when or if new stocks will be on the market.


You can buy the shader color attachments but not the actual machine itself.


Although hailed as a breakthrough when it first came on the market, the Neuma Tattoo Machine seems not to have lived up to its hype.


Frequent Asked Questions

What is a Pneumatic Tattoo Machine?

A pneumatic tattoo gun is a high-end machine that uses air compression to move the needle up and down during tattooing.

One of the best qualities of a pneumatic machine is that it is exceptionally lightweight and thus extremely easy to work with.


pneumatic tattoo machine


Another great advantage of the pneumatic machine is its compact and versatile design that does not require a complicated maintenance process.


You can clean and sterilize your pneumatic machine without disassembling its components.


The pneumatic machine is a sophisticated tattoo gun that is made of solid aluminum, generally.

It has introduced many firsts in tattooing, including being a much less painful experience besides being air powered.

After the original pneumatic machine was designed, the creator decided to incorporate suggestions from the tattoo industry on how to improve it.

That is how the Neuma hybrid machine came to be. In addition to being air-powered, the hybrid machine can also be powered by electricity.


How does a Pneumatic Tattoo Machine Work?

An air compressor powers the machine. You must attach the machine to the air compressor before releasing the pressure.

Once the pressure is released, it powers the machine’s motor so the needle can move up and down for tattooing.

You can adjust the pressure from the air compressor to control how fast or slow you want the needle to move.


pneumatic tattoo machine air connection


If you are using a hybrid machine, you can use an air compressor or electricity to power it.

All you have to do is connect the machine to an electric power source, switch on your machine and get tattooing.


Understanding your Pneumatic Tattoo Gun Air Supply

Powering the tattoo machine using an air compressor means that you need to purchase one alongside the tattoo gun.

The air compressor is often powered by electricity or gas (very uncommon though) to allow the air to compress, and the tattoo machine has to be attached to the outlet valve.


The downside of using an air compressor to power it is that it is bulky, especially for artists who need to move from one location to another.


Although the air tattoo machine is highly versatile and lightweight, the fact that you need to bring the air compressor around makes it cumbersome.

Besides, the air compressor is an expensive piece of equipment, and having to acquire it with the tat gun too, will leave a significant dent in your pocket.

Lastly, you can imagine the noise created while powering the machine. I think this is the main reason it was unsuccessful after all.


Final Thoughts

The pneumatic machine was meant to change how artists and tattoo lovers experience the process of tattooing.

It has not gained as much popularity as intended, but for artists who can afford it, it has provided a much-needed alternative to rotary and coil tattoo machines.

The Neuma hybrid has also enabled the use of electricity to power the pneumatic tattoo machine, and overall it looks like the perfect machine.